Retirement Reform in 2019

Two years ago, the current government built their own mark on the United States with what some call the most necessary and important tax reform. The retirement reform that they are planning might be the long shot of 2019 since there are four important pieces of retirement reform in legislation before Congress. Every single piece tends to have been supported by both sides in their latest drafts, on the other hand there are various regulatory advancements and state level when it comes to retirement savings that are also moving onward and upward.

The Four Extensive Retirement Acts

  • Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act
  • Retirement Parity for Student Loans Act of 2018
  • Retirement Security and Savings Act of 2019
  • Social Security 2100 Act

The RESA or the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act was originally introduced almost four years ago, however, it was reintroduced once again this year. The Director of Economic Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Shai Akbas, said this bill has been the primary objective in Congress for years.  He also said that Washington has been expecting the bill to move on at a binary level and basis. The current Congress simply thinks that this bill has the capacity to create numerous changes to the current retirement system by making it more accessible to workers in various employer contribution plans, eliminating the limitation of age on their Individual Retirement Account for contributions, eliminating several restrictions on the enrollment for 401k plans, and making it easier for them to acquire the available options of lifetime income from their retirement plan that has been qualified and accepted.

The Retirement Party for Student Loans Act of 2018 (or the RPSLA) was originally introduced last year and was referred to the Finance Committee of the Senate. In relation to the Retirement Security and Savings Act, the introduction of this act also requires to be reintroduced. The RPSLA has the ability to allow 403b and 401k plans (and other straightforward retirement plans) to build contributions that match the retirement account of an employee by dealing with student loan payments just like salary deferral contributions. An employee would focus on paying off any student debts while having their current employer contribute to the retirement plan that they selected. The strategy of the bill tends to be wide and strong in support but it is still not clear whether or not the bill can proceed as a stand-alone since it has the possibility to become attached as a provision or to combine with another retirement bill.

On the other hand, the Retirement Security and Savings Act of 2019 was initially introduced to the Senate of the United States during their final session last December. The RSSA or the Retirement Security and Savings Act is a bill that currently has some controversial factors such as increasing the savings in 401k plans and Individual Retirement Account.  This would  assist with a small employer coverage for those who work part-time, a change in required minimum distribution laws for individuals who are planning to work after the age of 71, and eliminating the hurdles for the inclusion of lifetime income options when it comes to retirement plans.

Last but not least, the Social Security 2100 Act was first introduced in the Senate this year and the Act currently has more than two hundred cosponsors in the House. Shai Akabas stated that the Act has the power to increase benefits in Social Security and to resolve the issues in funding and the affected system through an increase in taxes.

2019 could be quite a year for current and future retirees.  We are here to help you navigate through your journey.

April 15, 2019

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